Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation to improve functional outcomes for young adults with autism spectrum disorders  

This project proposes to bring an evidence-based, innovative cognitive rehabilitation approach (Cognitive Enhancement Therapy - CET) to young verbal adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who often experience substantial lifelong disability. At the core of these disorders are problems in thinking and social-emotional functioning that lead to substantial disability, particularly as individuals transition to adulthood. Unfortunately, few interventions are available for adults with ASD, and even fewer focus on the remediation of cognitive and social-emotional deficits that impede the development of complex adaptive behaviors which are essential for achievement in adult life. To address this major gap in the treatment of ASD, the study will adapt and test the efficacy of CET with young transitional-age high-functioning adults with ASD. CET is a social-cognitive and neurocognitive rehabilitation program originally developed for schizophrenia that has demonstrated significant improvements in many of the cognitive and functional domains impaired in ASD. This project will first adapt the CET treatment to reflect the uniqueness of autism, and then proceed to conduct a small-scale randomized trial with 48 young adults with ASD to obtain initial efficacy data on cognitive and functional outcomes to support the feasibility of a larger and more definitive trial. The proposed project will be the first rigorous clinical trial of a proven cognitive rehabilitation approach with verbal adults with ASD. If successful, this project will represent a major step forward in the treatment of verbal adults with ASD, and have implications for both younger individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders that share similar cognitive, affective and social impairments. Project Status
NEW

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $100,000.00
Current Award Period 2010-2013
Project Number 5703
Principal Investigator Minshew, Nancy
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Behavioral
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SF. Launch five randomized controlled trials of interventions including biological signatures and other measures to predict response, and monitor quality of life and functional outcomes, in each of the following groups:
  • Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three randomized controlled trials of interventions for school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.
  • Three trials for adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Pittsburgh
State/Country Pennsylvania
Web Link 1 Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation to improve functional outcomes for young adults with autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.